Sunday, October 22, 2006

The Fake Phone Call

"Hey Amber," Tom whispered when he slipped into bed at six in the morning after working all night.

"Hrm?" I responded, half asleep.

"I'm finished. With work. It's over. I'm off work for over a month." I could hear the excitement laced in Tom's voice. Then he reached down and squeezed my hand. "We're almost done with this place."

A small smile spread across my face. I squeezed his hand back.

Sometimes a rumble of excitement fills my body when I think about leaving. The fact that I'll have family closer, stores closer, good places to eat closer, watching Grey's Anatomy when it airs for the first time...

But then I think about leaving Jennifer and I feel sad. Tom knows this. He'll usually give me a hug and say maybe one day that we'll all be on the same base again even though he knows the chances of that happening are slim. It could still happen though.

The movers come Tuesday.

But in other news, last night, Tommy wasn't behaving.

I think the prospect of moving has made him overexcitable, to the point where he doesn't care to listen.

I told him it was bath time.

He told me no.

I ran his bath anyway. I told him to get in.

He told me no.

I told him I'd drop him in fully clothed if I had to.

He laughed at me.

So I reached down and scooped him up, which isn't easy with my growing belly. He kicked and tried to slither out of my arms, moving each body part in awkward directions.

"Honestly Tommy it's just a bath, you love baths," I snapped as he finally broke free and ran into his bedroom. He tried to slam the door in my face but I stopped it with my palm and foot.

"Hey. We do not slam doors," I said in my best no-nonsense voice.

"NOOO!" Tommy screeched and threw a toy across the room. Lately, if someone shouts at him, he throws a toy.

I was beginning to lose my patience.

Really, what I wanted to do is lay down with a magazine. But I had packing I needed to start, things I needed to organize, a dirty child to bathe..

"Tommy," I began slowly. "If you don't listen I'm calling Daddy."

And yes, I know you shouldn't threaten Daddy. They say it all the time in child development books, on those Nanny shows, on Dr. Phil and Oprah..

But honestly, these people aren't dealing with the stubbornest four-year-old in the planet.

Tommy responds to Tom. I think it's the height, combined with the deep voice and stern expression that Tom is able to maintain. I try to keep a stern expression but it usually falters, because Tommy knows all he has to do is blink his eyelashes up at me and then wrap his little hands around my leg saying, "Aww. I love you, Mommy."

Tommy tried to do this once with Tom but Tom wasn't having it.

"Thank you Tommy, I love you too but you're being a bad boy," Tom responded in his deep thick voice. "Go sit on the naughty step." Then he pointed at the step and Tommy blinked up at him in surprise. He paused a few seconds, hoping that Tom might succomb to his charms and good looks but Tom wasn't having it.

"I said GO!" Tom yelled, which caused Tommy to jump and scurry over. He plopped his butt down and gave a defeated sigh.

So yes.

Tommy listens to Tom.

He listens to me sometimes.

But mainly he listens to Tom.

So I was hoping the threatening of calling Tom would put some worry into him.

It didn't.

Do you know what the little punk did?

He clapped his hands and went, "Yes, let's call Daddy!"


I composed myself and said, "Well Tommy, if we call Daddy, Daddy won't be happy because you're not listening to me."

Tommy brushed past me, went into my bedroom and grabbed the portable phone. Then he brought it back to me.

"Here you go. Call Daddy!"


This was not going to plan at all.

Also, I couldn't show Tommy that I had fibbed so I had to take the phone, pretend to dial the numbers and pretend to ask for Tom.

Even though getting a hold of Tom is next to impossible at work.

First you have to call the front desk.

Then the front desk has to locate the person you want.

Then someone has to go down and tell the person.

This could take hours.

Then the person you want has to find a phone.

So you see, it takes some time.

But Tommy didn't know this.

I pretended Tom picked up right away.

"Yes Tom, hello. Er, Tommy is being naughty and you may need to come home."

Tommy tugged on my leg as I had my fake conversation.

"I talk to Daddy!"

I covered the mouthpiece. "Daddy says you need to listen to me."

Tommy laughed. "Noooo," he giggled.

As though he knew I was pretending all along.


Then I said that Daddy had to go and hung up.

Or pretended to.

"Now are we going to listen?" I asked Tommy sternly.

Tommy just laughed.

If I didn't know any better I'd swear he was mocking me.

However, he did listen for the rest of the night.

I think he saw how desperate I was for him to behave and he probably thought of his poor mother had to pretend to call his Daddy and had to pretend to have a conversation with him, that I was in pretty poor shape.

I have a very interesting kid.


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